Your questions answered by a  Hollywood professional

A bit of Hollywood humor 

Updated Aug 12, 2019

Screenwriting Help E-Mail Blog

Updated August 12, 2019

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This week's question

Doug, I know you've written a lot of scripts. What page in a script is usually the hardest to write?


This week's Answer: 

The Hardest Page

Good question. My answer: the title page. I always have to look up my script advisor phone number and type it on that page.

Actually, I do understand your question and the real answer is "the last page". Why? because it has the last beat. The last moment. The one before "FADE OUT". I have spent hours, even days, mulling over what is the best last moment. If it's dialogue, which it usually is, the question is "what last words do you want to leave with your reader/viewer?" Will the exchange be humorous? Meaningful? Meaningfully humorous? Humorously meaningful? Clever? Profound? Profoundly clev--? I'm sure you get the idea. 

And do we see the characters speaking (usually the hero and ally or love interest) or is it a voiceover because we're too far away as they walk towards the horizon. (or drive off or sail off or do something dealing with transportation off). Do you want to write a "pull back and up" moment when we see a full picture of the city (urban drama)? The forest (thriller/suspense)? The open mouth of a monster about to devour us all? (romantic comedy).

So, the question is on that last page is "how do I wrap it up in just the right way"?

Here's suggestion: Look at your first page. Notice what opening image and tone you're working with. Now think about how far the hero has come, how much he/she has transformed. (And the ally and/or love interest). Recognize how the tone has changed. Make sure your premise has been fully realized and then write your last beat.

Or, if that doesn't work...

Don't finish your script and just start another one.

Doug Herman

Script Advisor


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